SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - Set back off Coffeen Avenue stands a business that continues to withstand the blows technology delivers. Through the times of big chain retailers like Blockbuster, city-scattered Redbox locations and entertainment that quickly downloads, Video Depot has endured and continues as a profitable business in Sheridan.
Opened in 1998, Video Depot owner Jeff Price said that though business has declined in recent years, the video store still brings in enough customers to turn a profit, reported The Sheridan Press (https://bit.ly/2icXUK4). Though Redbox has four locations in Sheridan, three of them open 24 hours, Price said the vendor is not his main competitor; Netflix is.
“I compete with them fairly good with pricing and everything, and I also get new releases before them a lot,” Price said about Redbox, adding that his earlier release of movies also helps pull would-be Netflix customers. “I have a lot of customers I think that use Netflix and me both, and get what they can.”
Part of the reason for the store’s survival is its location - a small town with residents in rural areas.
“There’s no video stores left in urban areas, you know, big cities,” Price said. “A lot of people out in the country, they need it because they can’t download or it takes too much data usage to do it.”
Monte Geiss, a Video Depot customer who lives about 10 miles west of Sheridan, said that while he would most likely give up his trips to the video store for Netflix if he was a subscriber, he wouldn’t do the same for Redbox.
“I live out of town and Redbox you have to return every day,” Geiss said.
Video Depot uses Redbox’s stricter return policies as a way to bring in customers. Price offers longer rental periods, which he said customers take advantage of by stocking up.
Price said the store’s success isn’t the result of some grand marketing plan. While he said in-store deals and lengthy rental terms attract customers, there’s also the charm of a video store experience paired with a friendly crew that keeps people coming back.
“There’s the flavor of going into a video store that people still love,” Price said. “They love to walk around and see a picture in front of them along the walls and turn it over and read it.”
Geiss agreed that coming into the store adds something to the process that is missing elsewhere.
“You get to see the actual movies and read,” Geiss said. “You can do that on Redbox of course, but this is just a better experience for me.”
While Netflix and Redbox have yet to defeat the local video store, Price said it’s only a matter of time before technology triumphs.
“I won’t be around forever, I know that,” Price said. “I don’t see it in the real near future, though. I think I got some years left.”
Information from: The Sheridan (Wyo.) Press, https://www.thesheridanpress.com/
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